Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center Inc.

aka Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.   |   Tewksbury, MA   |  strongwaterfarm.org

Mission

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc., operates with a mission to enhance and enrich lives by providing education, social opportunities and emotional support through equine assisted activities and therapies. Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center has been improving the quality of life for children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities since 1998. We also provide innovative therapeutic programs for individuals who struggle with substance use disorder and recovery, veterans through area VA programs, individuals with emotional and mental health disorders, and at-risk youth who attend alternative schools for academic, social, and behavioral needs.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Director

Ms. Maria Antonioni

Main address

500 Livingston Street Box 754

Tewksbury, MA 01876 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3436653

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

Alcohol, Drug Abuse (Treatment Only) (F22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

This has been a challenging year for us along with so many other non-profits in Massachusetts. With the COVID-19 shutdowns in March, suspended programs and cancelled our annual gala. However, we maintained our staff and volunteers as essential workers to care for our herd. As we have resumed our services, we have had to make changes to conform to distancing and other requirements. Our group programs have often resumed in one-on-one service delivery and we restrict occupancy at our facility. All of this has effected our program income. We know the effects of the pandemic will have lasting health and mental health consequences. Individuals with disabilities – both children and adults – are experiencing the effects of prolonged isolation brought on by distancing, school closures and service disruption and have readily observable decompensation, skill loss, depression and mental health struggles. Because of this our services are needed now more than ever.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Freedom Riders

Program for veterans through the Edith Nourse Rogers VA hospital and VA supportive housing in Beverly and Bedford.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Program for children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Strongwater Farm provides vocational services for youth transitioning out of special education programs and young adults in day habilitation and supported employment programs. We collaborate with and support community programs to provide transferable skills and transitional support.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with disabilities

The Bridge to Discovery program serves youth in middle and high school special education and alternative education programs. Bridge to Discovery uses equine assisted activities interwoven with expressive arts therapy to help youth through both social and sensory engagement. The program focuses on the emotional skills necessary for building healthy boundaries, safe relationships and strengthening healthy decision-making skills. Begun as a pilot in 2018, the program has engaged public school district programs for students with emotional and behavioral issues as well as students on the autism spectrum.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with learning disabilities
People with psychosocial disabilities
People with other disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

Where we work

Accreditations

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) - Accreditation

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Strongwater Farm’s organization goals are needed now more than ever. These include
• Helping participants gain confidence and skills that they can translate to the life outside of the barn
and away from the horses
• Providing a healing and normalizing environment that enables decompression and calming for
participants
• Enabling all individuals in need to experience the unconditional acceptance and compassion of horses

Because of COVID shut downs and distancing we also add the goals of:
• Providing sensory experiences, particularly for those who have experienced and continue to experience isolation for health reasons
• Providing programs that work to help alleviate depression and anxiety especially among those with disabilities or who have experienced decompensating behaviors.
• Providing regularity and routine for those who depend on routine especially children and adults on the autism spectrum.


Strongwater Farm continues to adapt our services to COVID restrictions for a population that has increased need due to COVID closures. The sensory experience we offer is unique and much needed. While we may not be able to touch one another, our clients are able to touch the horses – offer a carrot, brush a mane, feel the soft nose and bury their head on the neck of a horse. This is a connection with another living thing that we all crave and miss.

We have pivoted to adapt our programs and services to ensure health and safety and to meet the growing need of the isolated. With the help of a COVID emergency grant we purchased a horse trailer to allow us to visit nursing homes, assisted living and hospice facilities where residents are still isolated with limited contact. This was done at the request of those caring for this population.

We are reaching out to public school special education programs with our Bridge to Discovery program for students on the spectrum or with emotional and behavioral challenges. The program offers a sensory experience, physical activity that is safe and an opportunity to be outside at the farm. A number of school districts have participated in this program and wish to resume but currently are working to overcome limitations due to transportation and funding.

We have the additional opportunity provided by our new indoor center. Opened in fall 2020, the new center provides us with 25% more capacity for programs during the day. Our environment is optimal in the COVID era – a large and airy facility with plenty of room to distance. We completed this project despite financial uncertainties and construction delays.

We know the effects of the last few months will have lasting health and mental health consequences. General operating funds ensure that we are able to respond to the needs of our communities both now and as we continue to recover from COVID.

Strongwater Farm has a dedicated board and a strong group of volunteers which have helped us weather the last year. We completed our construction project in spite of all the adversity and continue to adapt our services to comply with COVID restrictions while meeting the needs of our communities. In the last year we have also revised our schedule to adapt to our new indoor facility and revamped our registration system. Executive Director Maria Antonioni is working with the finance committee on budgeting and financial management in a most uncertain world. This strong board and management has allowed us to continue to operate when so many non-profits in our region have closed or gone on hiatus.

We have revamped our registration system and changed our annual calendar and schedule to provide more services due to our new indoor center. We have also improved our IT system and moved our phones to VoIP in order to ensure better communication and timely responses.

During the coming year we anticipate a growing need for our services, and also a growing number of individuals and programs in financial distress. We also may not be able to hold our regular events until late in 2021. Our goal is to raise more general operating funds to allow us to quickly pivot to meet the needs of those who depend on us. COVID-19 has certainly taught us to be flexible and to be ready for anything. While this has been a difficult year for all of us it has strengthened our organization in many ways and forced us to find new and creative ways to operate.

Financials

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Martha Gaffney

Oracle Corporation

Term: 2019 - 2023

Chris Perley

Life sciences consultant

Charles Gaffney

Salem Five

Nancy Hurwitz

Retired

James Carter

Demoulas Supermarkets

Martha Gaffney

Oracle

Diana Lane

New EnglandDressage Association

Janice O'Neill

retired

Richard O'Neill

O'Neill & Gramer

Michelle Fuedo

US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Jennifer Malizia

Substance Abuse Clinician, Tewksbury Hospital

Jessica Wadden

Special Education Teacher

David Wahr

Retired

Julia Eberhart

Health Systems consultant

Tracie Richardson

Black Cat Farm

Maura Sweeney

Lowell Five

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/11/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data